by Lynn Byrne
I have vacationed in Montauk for 16 years and I couldn’t find the place. And nope the arrow didn’t help. I called and the sales clerk had to guide me in.
The Montauk outpost of Melet Mercantile is in a garage next to a taxi stand. Apparently the orange scooter is supposed to clue you in that something “hip” is there.
And, I guess if Vogue dresses Keith Richard’s clan in vintage clothing from Melet Mercantile for their August issue, the place must be chic. Of course, these people are gorgeous and would look great in anything.
But when I looked over the clothes in the store, I didn’t see anything near as cute. Excuse me, but, um, I prefer my vintage clothes to be laundered and without tears.
Plus, when there are no labels on vintage clothes, I also expect them to be cheap—$200 for a faded, dirty, ripped t-shirt is decidedly not my idea of cool. I am guessing the Richards clan made Vogue wash the stuff before they wore it.
I will grant you–the store did have some very interesting finds. This sign is a hoot! Ringing in at over $1000 took some of the joy out of it for me though.
I stumbled across some pictures of the Melet’s home in Montauk in the 2008 book, Beach Cottages by Mary Emmerling. Since the book is several years old, I am not sure if the Melets still live there, but the pictures certainly reflect the aesthetic of the store.
The Melet’s home shown here is certainly a precursor to the “Undecorated Look”, documented in a book with the same name by Dwell Studio’s Christiane Lemieux in 2011.
I think the “Undecorated Look” is exceptionally difficult to pull off. As I have said before, it reminds me of the “natural” look in make-up application– it takes lots of effort to work well.
I really really want to know what you think about all of this.
grungy style hot or not?
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Photos: Melet Mercantile store images by Lynn Byrne. Vogue images by Bruce Weber. Melet home images by Carter Berg.